When you think of a Volvo, chances are you think of a wagon. The 2023 Volvo V60 is a plug-in hybrid wagon and it stands out because it’s the only available performance-oriented compact wagon. It cranks out 455 horsepower, has an all-electric range of up to 41 miles, and a spacious, upscale cabin.
Base Price: $70,550
As Tested: $72,190
Mileage: 74 MPGe gas + electric combined / 31 MPGe gas only combined
Last year, Volvo announced that its entire 2023 lineup in the U.S. would consist only of mild hybrid, hybrid or electric vehicles. The Swedish automaker says it will offer only pure electric vehicles by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2040.
Luxury wagons have never really caught on here in the U.S. They’re a great blend of a sedan and SUV – more room than a sedan but smaller and more fun to drive than an SUV. While the Subaru Outback remains a very popular mainstream wagon, the only luxury offerings are the V60 Polestar Engineered’s gas-powered sibling, the Volvo V60 Cross Country, the larger Volvo V90 Cross Country, the Audi A4 Allroad and Mercedes-Benz E-class All-Terrain.
The Volvo V60 Recharge is based on the S60 sedan. It was introduced for the 2020 model year. For 2023, it gets Volvo’s new Google-based infotainment system and some styling tweaks including updated front and rear bumpers and new wheels.
It comes in only one trim, Polestar Engineered. The starting price is $70,550 and for that you get a well-equipped luxury wagon. There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating.
The V60 Recharge Polestar is powered by a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor and 18.8-kWh battery. Total output is 455 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard.
The powertrain makes for peppy performance. Acceleration is swift from a stop. Volvo says it can go from zero to 60 mpg in 4.3 seconds. The V60 Recharge is eager to get up to speed for merging and passing on the freeway. The transmission shifts quickly and smoothly. Steering is light and brakes have a normal feel. All in all, the V60 handles much like a sport sedan. It’s easy and enjoyable to drive, whether you’re running errands around town or cruising on the freeway. A cool feature is an adjustable suspension which you can set to your liking. Overall, though, the ride is firm.
The powertrain has four different settings so you can choose between all-electric, gas-powered or a combination of both. Hybrid lets the V60 control when to use the gas-powered engine and electric motor. Pure is electric only. Constant AWD runs the gas engine and electric motor together but not at maximum power. Polestar is maximum power.
The V60 Recharge has an all-electric range of up to 41 miles. It takes about three hours to fully charge when using a Level 2 240-volt outlet. It can take 8-13 hours to charge if you use a Level 1 regular 110-volt household plug.
Fuel economy is great for a luxury wagon. EPA ratings for my tester are 74 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in combined city and highway driving with gas and electric power, and 31 mpg combined with gas only.
When properly equipped, the V60 Recharge can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
The cabin has a clean, elegant design with upscale materials. The crystal shift knob adds a luxe touch. Seats are extremely comfortable and supportive, and passengers in both rows enjoy lots of leg- and headroom. The spiffy yellow seat belts tie in with the yellow brake calipers, signaling that this is a Polestar product. The audio system sounds great and you can listen in four different room modes: Concert Hall, Studio, Individual Stage and Jazz Club.
Standard features include remote engine start, keyless entry, push-button start, 360-degree surround-view camera, head-up display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, heated sport steering wheel, heated rear seats, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, Google-based infotainment system with nine-inch touchscreen, navigation, 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system with 1410 watts, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, USB ports, wireless device charging, ambient interior lighting, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high-beam activation, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Brembo brakes with yellow brake calipers, yellow seat belts, roof rails and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, blind spot intervention, lane departure mitigation, and front and rear parking sensors.
The V60 Recharge gets the new Google-based infotainment system with Google Maps, Google Assistant and Google Play. The nine-inch touchscreen is positioned with a vertical orientation, so it looks like a tablet on the dash. Graphics are modern and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. However, the system takes some getting used to. You have to go through menus and submenus for some commands.
Cargo space is plentiful. There are 22.9 cubic feet behind the second row and 60.5 cubes with the second row folded. The rear seats split-fold 60/40, providing flexibility in hauling passengers and cargo.
Pleasant driving dynamics
Decent range for a plug-in hybrid
Practicality of an SUV, drives like a sedan
Roomy and upscale cabin
Lots of standard features and tech
Infotainment system takes getting used to
My tester starts at $70,550. The luggage cover is $345. The power operated tailgate is $200. Destination charge is $1,095 bringing the grand total to $72,190.
The 2023 Volvo V60 Recharge is a well-equipped wagon that’s enjoyable to drive, comes loaded with features and tech, and gets excellent fuel economy. This sporty wagon stands out from the crowd of luxury SUVs, crossovers and sedans. Check it out if you’re looking for a luxury hybrid.